I've not posted in a while and a big reason for that has been the Daily Ghost, a project to write an original ghost story every day for a year. And I did exactly that, completing 365 ghost stories (plus a few extra) and raising money for the First Story Charity that provides writers workshops for less privileged school children.
I found some time recently to bring all the stories together in a pretty substantial anthology: the stories might be only 400 words each but a year's-worth of them makes for a weighty tome. You can find A Year of Ghosts on Amazon and there are paperback, hardback and Kindle editions.
That's the physical copy on the left and the e-book on the right: take a Daily Ghost home for Christmas
A Year Of Ghosts features 365 ghost stories, each one short enough to read with a hot drink but guaranteed to keep you thinking for a cold and moon-drenched night. There are haunting tales of grief and parting, romances of reconciliation and devotion, spine tingling encounters with supernatural danger and satirical romps through the afterlife, mixed with adventure, mystery and mythology. Journey to a haunted planet in the far future, to the ghosts of the Roman Coliseum, follow the machinations of Egyptian necromancers and the legacy of a haunted doll. You will read ghost stories adapted from pop songs, classic fiction and historical celebrities as well as low key tales of life in Lockdown Britain, the testimony of Somali immigrants, a northern pensioner teaching his grandson to be an exorcist and the love song of a Syrian refugee.
The book lends itself to a casual reader who can dip into a story here or there, but there’s a huge range here, some of it literary, some mainstream commercial. There are Stephen King homages, a dramatic monologue, a pastiche of Damon ‘Guys & Dolls’ Runyon’s mobster fiction, a string of tales from the 17th century Scottish Borders as well as science fiction, Lovecraftian horror and parodies of Jane Austen and Raymond Chandler. Most of the tales stand alone but there are serials running month to month and of course a season of Christmas ghost stories.
RPGers might particularly enjoy the monthly serial 'A Loophole' in which the death goddess Anupet struggles against the machinations of the necromancer Qadaffah, with the necromancer's new apprentice as a pawn in their millennial conflict.
Fans of the ghost stories volunteered to narrate them, so there’s a Daily Ghost YouTube channel too with scores of the stories produced as 4-minute audiobooks by voice artists and authors like Nancy Weitz and John Clewarth – as well as myself, learning as I go. Here are two example, including a Christmas ghost story:
David Read narrates The Edge of the Platform and John Clewarth reads The Weeping Mothers
There will be more stories on the Daily Ghost site as they bubble up from the unconscious - and some of them will appear in the project that started all this but then got put on hold, a glamorous Second Edition for my Ghost Hack RPG (on Amazon and on drivethrurpg) with lots of campaign ideas in fiction form.
Otherwise, my attention is now on the Hedgerow Hack, the RPG of rustic weirdness, time travel, faeries and British mythology. There's some very exciting news about that which I'll reveal in a future post.
The RPG products that have been inspiring and distracting me in equal measure - and (fanfare) Ghost Hack is a silver best seller on drivethrurpg
30 Minute Dungeons
Essays on Forge
I'm a teacher and a writer and I love board games and RPGs. I got into D&D back in the '70s with Eric Holmes' 'Blue Book' set and I've started writing my own OSR-inspired games - as well as fantasy and supernatural fiction..
The shoddy PDF rulebook available at drivethrurpg is missing pp 66-67, 82-83, 86-87, 126-127, 140-141 and 162-5. You can read or download these below: